We had a lot of fun at "Purim schpiel" yesterday at HUC (as someone quipped, it was Shushan Purim for walled cities with no windows). [An inside joke: our classrooms have no windows. The building is an architectural ... marvel.] The "altekaker" students -- that is, those of us who are 49 and counting -- did a song and dance medley to showtunes with such deathless lyrics as:
We're as old as our classmates' parents
We've babysat some of our teachers too
if you'll excuse all our sensible shoes
We're in love.... with being a Jew!
(think South Pacific, "I'm in love with a Wonderful Guy")
We announced ourselves as the UAHC: Union of American Hebrew Crones.
(Nice of the URJ to vacate the acronym just in time for us, hmmm?)
It felt like exactly the right way to begin my fiftieth year, which is what I'm doing, since today is my 49th birthday. I don't have any real celebration planned, although I've had good wishes from some wonderful friends. I am going to take my cue from a dear friend who turned 50 a few years ago: she made the whole year a celebration.
Today I'll celebrate by taking my copy of Miqraot Gedolot (a medieval collection of Bible commentary) to commentary class. I'll celebrate by hearing a lecture on Ashkenazi Jews in medieval Europe. I'll celebrate by planning the Passover seder for my student pulpit, by writing a sermon, learning a Torah portion, by attending tefilah. I'm going to celebrate this year by living.